Episodes from various iconic television shows to get you in the Halloween spirit
Besides trick or treating, dressing up, and going out to costume parties, the best part of Halloween each year is the plethora of binge-worthy themed episodes to stream while you should be studying.
I know Halloween falls smack dab in the middle of midterm season, however, in this era where more and more young people are cutting the cord, streaming services such as Netflix and Crave have created a renaissance of comedy in television.
Sure, Christmas and Valentine’s Day earn their own standalone episodes every year, but they don’t have anything on the annual Halloween-themed episodes from iconic sitcoms like The Office and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Halloween allows for characters like Michael Scott and Barney Stinson to truly shine in their goofy and shenanigan-causing selves, and creates unexpected humour from traditionally static or “goody two-shoes” characters such as Captain Raymond Holt or Amy Santiago.
You won’t see Michael Scott dressing up in inappropriate costumes aside from Halloween — or, actually, you might as he does in season three of The Office by mistaking Diwali for an Indian version of Halloween…
Although Halloween comes at the height of midterm season, be sure to make time for these five episodes from classic sitcoms (as I always do).
5: Parks and Recreation “Greg Pikitis” (Season two, episode seven)
Teenage vandalism, a lively Halloween party, and payback — this episode of Parks and Rec has it all.
In this season two Halloween special, Leslie Knope, Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, squares off against her nemesis Greg Pikitis.
Pikitis, a teenage vandal, is known to deface the city’s public statues every Halloween, but this year, Leslie sets out to stop him.
Although Pikitis says he has no plans, at night, with the help of Andy Dwyer to guard the statue, Leslie keenly observes Pitkitis’ every move. Across town, Leslie’s friend Ann Perkins is throwing a party that quickly becomes a big hit.
So, after watching Pikitis for hours, Leslie decides to ditch her plan and attend Ann’s party — leaving Pikitis unwatched, resulting in a hilarious surprise ending.
4: Friends “The One with the Halloween Party” (Season eight, episode six)
I couldn’t write a list of the best sitcom Halloween episodes without including one from what is perhaps the greatest sitcom of all time.
When Monica Geller and Chandler Bing decide to throw a costume party, costumes of all shapes, sizes, and degrees of edibility are out in full force. Monica forces Chandler to dress up as a pink bunny, Ross Geller shows up wearing a potato with a satellite (calling it a “spud-nik” in a play on words with the famous Russian satellite Sputnik), and Joey Tribbiani comes as Chandler.
Rachel Green, who recently announced she was pregnant, attempts to entertain children trick-or-treaters while Phoebe Buffay meets the man her sister is planning on marrying — although the pair have been dating for only two weeks.
The six together are inseparable, and Ross and Chandler’s arm wrestling match near the end of the episode reminds us why the cast worked so well together over 10 entertaining seasons.
3: How I Met Your Mother “Slutty Pumpkin” (Season one, episode six) and “The Sluttly Pumpkin Returns” (Season seven, episode eight)
My personal favourite sitcom growing up, How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM) never failed to make me laugh throughout middle and high school. These two episodes epitomize the theme of the show: Ted Mosby’s desire to find love.
In the season one episode, we learn about Ted’s yearly pilgrimage to a rooftop party where, years before, he met a girl dressed as a “slutty” pumpkin. Every year since, Ted shows up to the same rooftop party wearing the same “hanging chad” costume as when he met the slutty pumpkin — much to the delight (sarcastically speaking) of his friends.
It only takes seven years, but in season seven Ted finally reconnects with his long-lost crush dressed in the very same pumpkin costume. In an episode coupled with Barney Stinson’s realization that he’s one-quarter Canadian, tune in to see if Ted’s pumpkin crush is the woman of his dreams (and how Barney reacts to finding out part of his family is from the Great White North).
2: The Office “Halloween” (Season two, episode five)
After Jan Levinson, Vice President of Northeast sales at Dunder Mifflin, tells Michael he needs to fire one person by the end of the month, he (naturally) waits until the final day of the month to decide — which, conveniently, is Halloween.
As Michael debates who to fire, changing his mind during exit meetings, Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly attempt to prank Dwight Schrute in the episode’s other storyline. Jim and Pam post Dwight’s resume online in an attempt to get him hired at another company. However, on a serious note later in the episode, Pam suggests Jim should apply for the company they were luring Dwight to — leaving Jim hurt that Pam might not miss him if he were to leave.
I’m a sucker for Jim and Pam’s flirting in the earlier seasons, and as the episode wraps up Pam admits she would be sad if Jim left. Jim then declares to the documentary cameras that Pam is the only reason he gets excited to work at Dunder Mifflin.
If you’re into cringe and awkward humour, with a hint of romance, this episode is for you.
1: Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Halloween” (Season one, episode six)
It’s impossible to pick just one of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s yearly Halloween episodes, but the show’s first special sets the stage for an always hilarious yearly tradition.
When Jake Peralta brags that nobody would catch him if he were a criminal, Captain Holt counters by saying he would be easily caught. The two then make a bet, with Jake needing to steal Holt’s Medal of Valour by midnight to win and become “The Ultimate Detective/Genius.”
The yearly tradition turns into one of comedy’s best running gags, with more and more characters from the show joining and teaming up to prove who’s the best thief — ironically in a precinct full of cops.